Bulgarian Sunflower Bread

Sunflower Bread is supposed to look like a sunflower. This recipe is made for special occasions in Bulgaria. It is a yeasted bread with yogurt added for softness and flavor.

I have always been in awe of breads that looked like more than a loaf. I had never tried to bake one before. Now that I have I think I will be doing this more often.

This recipe was adapted from this recipe. I played around with the proportions a little and did not use vinegar.

You will need
3 cups bread flour
1 cup yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 oz Fleischmann instant yeast
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. + 1/3 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter + some to grease the baking dish
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. sesame seeds

Warm the milk. In a mixing bowl mix the milk, sugar, salt, 2 tbsp. bread flour and yeast. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs. Add the yogurt and whisk together. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil. To this mixture add the flour a little at a time and form a dough. It will be fairly sticky. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

Cut a small ball of dough and keep aside. Divide the rest into 3 portions. Flour a working surface and roll one of the portions into a large disc about 10 in in diameter. Put a third of the butter over the top. 

Roll out the second portion to the same size. Place it on top of the first and apply half of the remaining butter over the top. Roll out the last portion and place it on the first two. Now roll out all three. Do not worry about the size. Keep rolling them out until they get to 1/4 inch in thickness.

Grease a 10 inch baking dish. Using a pizza cutter or a knife cut the disc in 16 pieces. 

Starting from the outer edge roll one of the pieces towards the center aligned on one of the edges. Place it in the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining 15 pieces. Place the ball of dough that was kept aside in the center.

Whisk together the egg yolk and 1/3 tsp. olive oil. Brush over the top of the dough. Sprinkle sesame seeds. Cover and let it rest for an hour. Preheat oven to 375 F.

Bake the bread for 30 minutes. Cover the top with foil and bake for another 5 minutes. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.

Let it rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

I baked this bread with the group We Knead to Bake. For the month of February the group decided to bake any bread as long as it was yeasted. 


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